With the rise of interest magazines, such as the community table-driven Kinfolk and the interior design savvy Apartamento, it’s hard to find a publication that doesn’t seem like it was put under the Valencia filter or shot exclusively with a disposable camera.
And that’s where Lucky Peach comes in.
A magazine that seamlessly weaves food and writing together, this quarterly adopts a theme for each issue, such as the Apocalypse, American food, and Chinatown.
Talented photographers and artists are showcased, including Christopher Boffoli, a photographer/artist who’s famous for his “Big Appetites” collection, a series of photographs featuring miniature figures set in a food-filled scene. Photographer Sara Cwynar also shot the cover of the Apocalypse issue with her signature monochromatic background and her “gathered materials” packaging.
Celebrities sometimes make guest appearances in the magazine, like Aziz Ansari and Mario Batali, who offer advice on food at airports and in airplanes in Issue 7. Anthony Bourdain is also another recurring writer for Lucky Peach, but that may be a bad thing depending on how you feel about him.
And although it may seem like Lucky Peach is filled with food fluff and intriguing design (which it partly is), the publication delves into more serious topics that force readers to reflect on what we view as sustenance.
In the current Gender issue, which is split in two sections, the magazine explores the women who run butcher shops in their town markets in Vietnam, pulling hearts out and slicing fat off of livers, in Calvin Godfrey and Nhan Van’s article “Meat Maids.” Mimi Lok also profiles three struggling immigrants in San Francisco in “Deliverance: Interviews with Chinese Food Delivery Guys,” a piece that makes you want to double your delivery tip the next time you order in.
Like any food magazine, recipes also play a key role in Lucky Peach, but you won’t find your grandmother’s chicken noodle soup in there. Weird recipes are typically found in its page, like Stag Pizzle Soup (the private part of Harry Potter’s patronus blanched in ginger and wine, swimming with goji berries), appropriately placed in the current issue’s Female section.
Lucky Peach is sold at Kramerbooks & Afterwords and can also be bought online at the McSweeney’s store.